Photograph of neuronal growth cone with widefield microscopy (left) and SR-SIM, staining with tubulin (red) and F-actin (green) Specimen: M. Fritz and M. Bastmeyer, University of Karlsruhe (TH), Germany

Did You Know…

… that ZEISS Has a Solution For Super Resolution?


Ernst Abbe calculated the resolution limit for microscopes more than 100 years ago. According to his results, it was impossible to image structures smaller than 200 nanometers using a light microscope. Nevertheless, developers at ZEISS have now succeeded in circumventing Abbe’s resolution limit to magnify images of cell constituents that are even smaller. This facilitates improved research and understanding of widespread diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

The new microscope system merges two technologies to achieve a resolution of 20 nanometers. Until now, this was only possible for electron microscopes. Unlike with electron microscopy, these new technologies allow living cells to be observed without harming them. At this super resolution, scientists are even able to identify the behavior of individual molecules in dynamic processes.

The theory of microscopes originated with the same company that now creates high-end research microscopes. Scientist Ernst Abbe, whose achievements brought ZEISS global renown, published his theory of microscopic imaging in 1873. In doing so, he laid the foundation for modern optics.

1 December 2009

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